For the purposes of enforcing the provisions herein, the following words and expressions shall have the meanings ascribed thereto, unless the context requires otherwise:
Ministry: The Ministry of Interior;
Minister: The Minister of Interior;
Competent Authority: The Competent Administrative Unit in the Ministry;
Recruiter: The party, employer, head of the family, or host who Recruiters the Expatriate, or who receives transfer of his Residence in accordance with the provisions herein
The Expatriate: Any non-Qatari who enters the country to work, reside, visit, or for any other purpose;
Visa: Permission for the Expatriate to enter the country;
Travel Document: A document issued by an appropriate authority from the document-holder’s country, or any other recognized authority, that serves as a Passport and entitles its holder to return to the country from which he came;
Residency Permit: A permit that evidences the identity of the Expatriate and permits him to reside within the country in accordance with the terms and conditions contained in the present Law, the executive regulation, and implementing decrees thereof;
Entry/Exit Stamp: A stamp that confirms the expatriate’s entry or exit through the official ports in accordance with the provisions herein.
Departure: The exit of the Expatriate from the country after completing the purpose for which his entry or residency has been permitted;
Deportation: The expatriate’s compulsory exit from the country if an order was issued for his deportation.
The Entry and Exit of Expatriates
No expatriate may be permitted to enter or exit the country unless he holds a valid Travel Document or Passport and an entry visa from the Competent Authority indicating the purpose of his entry.
The preceding paragraph does not apply in the event of Departure.
The Competent Authority, or any other body to be determined by the Minister, shall issue Entry Visas in accordance with the provisions herein. These Visas may be terminated after its issuance for reasons related to the public interest.
The Entry Visa shall not permit the Expatriate for the purpose of work unless he has a contract concluded with his employer as per the applicable legal terms and conditions
A Visa shall not be assigned to others, disposed of in any manner, circulated by others whether through assignment, disposal, or circulation with or without consideration.
The Executive Regulations of the present Law shall set the terms and conditions of granting such visas and the duration thereof.
Captains of marine vessels, Pilots of aircrafts, and Drivers of vehicles, or any other form of transportation shall, immediately upon arrival to the country and before departing, report to the Competent Authority and provide it with the names and personal information of the marine vessel’s, aircraft’s, or vehicle’s crew and passengers. They must inform the Competent Authorities of any passengers not holding valid Passports, Travel Documents, or Visas, and prevent them from leaving the marine vessel or aircraft, as the case may be.
In all cases, the transporter must, at his own expense, return any passenger not holding a valid Passport, Travel Document, or Visa to the country from which he came or to the country of citizenship.
Administrators of tourist or hotel facilities, and those acting on their behalf, shall provide information to the Competent Authority regarding any individual who has been allowed entry into the country through them. They shall accommodate such expatriate in residential facilities as set in his issued visa, unless necessity requires otherwise. In the event that such expatriate is not present in his specified place of residency for a period of time that exceeds 48 hours without giving proper notification to the hotel or tourist facility, then the Competent Authority shall be notified about this within the following 24 hours at most. The hotel or tourist facility shall incur the Recruiter’s entire responsibilities and obligations towards the Expatriate.
In all cases, any person, who hosts an Expatriate, shall notify the Competent Security Department, within the precinct of which the hotel or tourist facility or the hosting house is located, of the name and address of the Expatriate within 24 hours of his arrival.
The Recruiter or the Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, shall notify the Competent Authority of each and every departure outside the Country at least three business days prior to the departure date.
In the event that the Recruiter or the Competent Authority objects to the departure of the Expatriate who arrives in the country for work, he shall have the right to seek recourse before the Committee on Expatriates’ Exit Grievances. The formation and assigned tasks of such Committee, the procedures to be pursued before it, and the system thereof shall be determined by virtue of a Ministerial decree.
An exception to the above, an Expatriate, who arrives in the Country for work, may depart the Country immediately after the Recruiter notifies the Competent Authority of his approval of the Expatriate’s leave.
If an Expatriate, who arrives in the Country for work, has an emergency, and based on the request submitted thereby for such purpose, the Committee shall consider his departure request within three business days.
Residency of Expatriates in the Country
Expatriates residing in the country for whatever purpose shall obtain a Residency Permit from the Competent Authority.
The Recruiter shall undertake to carry out the permit procedures and renewal thereof within a maximum of 90 days as of the expiration date thereof.
The Employer shall give the Passport or Travel Document to the Expatriate after completion of the permit procedures or the renewal thereof, unless the Expatriate requests in writing that the Employer shall retain the Passport or Travel Document provided that such passport or travel document shall be returned to him upon request.
The Recruiter shall enable the Expatriate to refer to the Competent Authority within 30 days of the Expatriate’s entry into the country to get the residency or visit permit procedures finalized. No expatriate may abstain from completing such procedures.
The Competent Authority may authorize the Recruiter or the Expatriate to appoint a representative thereof to undertake some of the procedures mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
An Expatriate, who enters the country for visit or any other purpose for a period less than 30 days, shall be exempted from the obligations stipulated in the preceding article.
No expatriate may stay at the country after the expiration of the mentioned period unless such period is renewed or the residency is obtained.
The Competent Authority may issue Residency Permits to the spouse of the Expatriate who has received a Residency Permit. Same applies to the Expatriate’s children who have not completed their university degree and are under the age of 25 years old, and to his daughters, who are not married.
The Minister or a representative thereof may make an exception with regards to the term of this age. The parents of the Expatriate may be granted a Residency Permit by virtue of the approval of the Minister or a representative thereof as deemed necessary
The Competent Authority may grant Residency Permits to the non-Qatari spouse and children of a Qatari national in accordance with the law. His non-Qatari parents may also be granted Residency Permits.
A Ministerial Decree, pertaining to the determination of the terms of granting Residence Permits as per the provisions of the present article, shall be issued.
The Expatriate, who has obtained Residency Permits for his family, shall submit a request for a Residency Permit for any of his new-born child within ninety days of the child’s birth or the date of his/her entry into the country.
In the event that the birth takes place outside the borders of the country while any of the two parents of the newborn child has been already granted a valid Residency Permit, the newborn shall then be granted an entry permit to the country within six months as of the date birth. The Competent Authority may disregard such period.
Recruiter of any female Expatriate, who arrives in the country for a visit, shall apply for the legalisation of the status of her newborn inside the country within sixty days of the birth date.
A Ministerial Decree, pertaining to the grant of the Residency Permit to the children of the Expatriates who were born inside the country as per the terms and conditions, shall be issued
No Expatriate, who obtained a Residency Permit, may stay continuously outside of the country for a period that exceeds six months, unless he has acquired a return permission from the Competent Authority prior to his travel or prior to the lapse of one year as of his departure date; after paying the prescribed fees, provided that the period as of the expiration of his Residency permit shall not exceed sixty days.
The Minister or a representative thereof may waive the periods/terms stipulated in the preceding Paragraph.
During his residency inside the Country, the Expatriate shall submit his Passport, Travel Document, or Residency Permit to the Competent Authority when requested. He shall be ready to answer any questions related to his information at his scheduled appointment.
If the Expatriate’s Passport, Travel Document, or Residency Permit is lost or damaged, he shall notify the Competent Authority immediately upon discovering such loss or damage. He shall also get a replacement issued.
Recruitership of Expatriates
The person responsible for the residency of the expatriate shall be determined as follows:
1. The Employer alone and no one else as for the Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work;
2. The head of the family, with regards to the members of his family residing with him in the country. A female Expatriate’s residency may remain under responsibility of the head of the Family, even if she finds a job.
If a marriage ends for whatever reason, any member of the family may transfer to another Recruiter after acquiring the approval of the Competent Authority, in accordance with the terms and conditions contained in a decree issued by the Minister.
3. A host, as for the Expatriate who arrives in the country for a visit.; and
4. Competent bodies of the state, as for the Expatriates who arrive for any other purpose.
The Recruiter, whether a natural or legal person, shall meet the following criteria:
1. He shall be Qatari or an Expatriate, who is legally residing in the country. If the Recruiter is a legal person, then its head-office or affiliated office shall be located in the country.
2. He shall be qualified to bear the responsibilities, as prescribed herein, towards the Expatriate.
The Recruiter shall:
1. Notify the Competent Authority within fourteen days as of the Expatriate resignation/ dismissal, or his refusal to leave the country after the cancellation or expiration of his Residency Permit, and the expiration of the grace period stipulated in Article (8) Paragraph (2) herein, or the expiration of his visit or the purpose for which he was granted an Entry Permit.
2. Incur the expenses of deporting the Expatriate to his country when required in accordance with this law. If it is proven that the Expatriate has worked for another entity in violation of the provisions herein, such entity shall bear the expenses of the Expatriate’s deportation. If it is impossible/difficult to identify such entity, the Expatriate shall bear the expenses. In the event that the Expatriate fails to pay such expenses, the Recruiter shall incur such.
In all cases, whosoever Recruiters an Expatriate, for purposes other than work in violation of this law, shall be required to bear the expenses of his deportation and without prejudice to any aspects of the legally stipulated responsibilities.
3. Incur the expenses of preparing and burying the body of a deceased Expatriate, in the designated burial place within the country, regardless of the cause of death.
In the event that one of the deceased person’s heirs or any other relevant party requests to transfer the body outside the country, the Recruiter shall cover the transport expenses to the deceased person’s country of citizenship or his place of permanent residency.
The Ministry may oblige the Recruiter of an Expatriate laborer, subject to the referenced Labor Law, to submit a bank deposit as a security payment to guarantee the fulfillment of the obligations towards the Ministry and the Expatriate, in accordance with the conditions contained in the decree issued by the Minister.
In the event that the Recruiter is a public employee and has violated his obligations towards the Expatriate laborer, the Ministry may deduct his wage in order to cover the expenses of the Expatriate’s deportation, in coordination with the employing agency.
Change of Employer
By virtue of the approval of the Employer, the Competent Authority, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, may be transferred to work for another Employer before expiration of his employment contract.
The Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, after acquiring the approval of the Competent Authority and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, may be transferred to work for other employer after expiration of his fixed-term employment contract or after the lapse of five years of his employment with the Employer if his contract was of an unfixed term.
The Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, may, after acquiring the approval of the Competent Authority and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, be transferred to work for another Employer if the Recruiter dies or the corporate body is dissolved for any reason.
In all cases, the rights prescribed for the Employer serving as the Recruiter, by virtue of the said Labor law or the contract concluded with the Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, shall not be violated.
The Minister or a representative thereof may approve the temporary transfer of an Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, to another Employer if there are legal claims filed between the Expatriate and his Recruiter, conditional on the approval of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, with regards to the laborer who is subject to the said Labor Law.
The Minister or a representative thereof may approve the transfer of an Expatriate who arrives in the country for work, and who is not subject to the said Labor Law, to another Employer if it is proven that the Recruiter was abusive, or if the public interest requires otherwise.
For same reasons, by virtue of the approval of the Minister or a representative thereof, based on a request submitted by the Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, and the approval of the Minister of Labor & Social Affairs, the Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work and who is subject to the said Labor Law, may be transferred to another Employer.
No natural or legal person shall permit any Expatriate, who arrives in the country for work, to be employed by another Employer, or employ laborers who are not under his Recruitership.
An exception to the above is that the Competent Authority may permit the Recruiter to second his Expatriates, who arrives in the country for work, to another Employer and work for the new Employer for a period that does not exceed six months. Such period may be renewed for another similar term.
The Competent Authority may permit the Expatriate to work on a part-time basis for another Employer out of his normal working hours if his Recruiter approves in writing.
In all cases, the approval of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs with regards to all categories subject to the said Labor Law, shall be acquired.
Departure, Deportation, Repatriation and Re-entry
If the Expatriate does not obtain a Residency Permit in accordance with the provisions herein, he shall leave the country.
The Expatriate shall also leave the country within ninety days if his Residency Permit expires, if it is revoked for any reason, or if the purpose for which he received the Residency Permit, has expired.
The Expatriate may, after acquiring the approval of the Competent Authority, re-enter the country if he fulfills the conditions necessary for entry, as prescribed in the provisions of the present Law and the executive regulation thereof.
If the labourer is dismissed on disciplinary grounds, in accordance with the said Labour Law, or in accordance with the provisions of the laws regulating the State’s Employee Affairs, or any other law, and such labourer does not challenge the judgment before the competent court, or challenges such judgment, and his challenge is rejected in a final ruling from a competent court of law, he shall then not be permitted to re-enter the country until four years from the day of his departure have elapsed.
The Expatriate, who was awarded a judgment by his deportation or repatriation, may not re-enter the Country unless a Ministerial decree is issued in this respect.
The Minister may send, when necessary, an Expatriate who has received a deportation order by virtue of a court ruling or repatriation order from the State to the place designated for such purpose for a period of a maximum of thirty days, which can be renewed for another similar term.
When it is not possible to execute the ruling or order specified in the preceding paragraph, the Minister may impose on the Expatriate to reside in a designated place for a renewable period of two weeks.
The Expatriate shall proceed to the local Security Department, in which such designated place is located during the times set in the issued order in this regard. He shall remain there until his deportation or repatriation.
Entry, Departure, and Residency of Certain Categories
The Minister may issue Visas and Residency Permits without the need of a Recruiter for the following categories:
1. Investors subject to the provisions of the provisions of the law regulating Non-Qatari Capital Investment in Economic Activities.
2. Real estate or residential unit owners or the beneficiaries thereof, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Ownership And Usufruct Of Real Estate & Residential Units By Non-Qataris.
3. Any other category as specified by a decree issued by the Council of Ministers.
Residency Permits for the categories specified in the preceding Article shall be issued in accordance with following:
1. The applicant shall submit the substantiated documents supporting his application.
2. The applicant shall enjoy good reputation.
The Residency Permit shall be revoked in the following cases:
1. If it is proven that the applicant has obtained the Residency Permit by submitting false documents.
2. If the continuation of the residency would jeopardize the safety or security of the state whether inland or abroad, or harm the national economy, public health, or public morals.
3. If the purpose, for which he has been granted the Residency Permit, is violated or expired, without obtaining permission to that end from the Competent Authority.
Without prejudice to any severer penalty stipulated in any other law, any person, who violates any of the provisions from Article (2) Paragraph (1); Article (3); Article (4) Paragraph (3); Article (11) Paragraph (2); Article (16) Paragraph (1); Article (23) Paragraph (1); Article (24) Paragraphs (1) and (2); Article (28) Paragraph (3); and Article (35) herein, shall be punished for a period that shall not exceed three years and/or a forfeit of no more than fifty-thousand Riyals (QAR 50,000).
The penalty for recurrence of such violation shall be imprisonment for a period of 30 days as a minimum and three years as a maximum and/or a forfeit not less than twenty-thousand Riyals (QAR 20,000) and not in excess of one hundred-thousand Riyals (QAR 100,000).
The accused shall be deemed a recidivist if he commits a similar crime within one year as from the execution date of the sentenced penalty or the crime is forfeited by the lapse of such sentenced period.
Without prejudice to any severer penalty stipulated in any other law:
1. Any person, who violates the provisions of Article (8) /Paragraph (3) herein, shall be subject to a fine that shall not exceed twenty-five-thousand Riyals (QAR 25,000).
2. Any person, who violates the provisions of Article (19) /Clause (1) herein, shall be subject to a fine that shall not exceed fifty-thousand Riyals (QAR 50,000).
Without prejudice to any severer penalty stipulated in any other law:
1. Any person, who violates the provision of Article (6) herein, shall be subject to a fine that shall not exceed twenty-thousand Riyals (QAR 20,000).
2. Any person, who violates any of the provisions contained in Article (5) /Paragraph (1); Article (8) /Paragraphs (1) and (2); Article (10) /Paragraph (1); Article (13) /Paragraphs (1) and (3); or Article (15) herein, shall be subject to a fine that shall not exceed ten-thousand Riyals (QAR 10,000).
The Minister or a representative thereof may agree to making conciliation in crimes specified in the Conciliation Schedule attached hereto, prior to the issuance of a final court ruling in the criminal cases,
provided that the accused person shall pay the amount set in the Schedule as prescribed for the crime of which he is accused on the date determined by the Competent Authority.
If the accused person refuses or abstains from the execution of the conciliation, criminal court proceedings shall be followed.
Officials of the Competent Authority shall perform the conciliation procedures for the crimes stipulated herein. Conciliation shall be proposed to the accused person. Such proposal shall be registered in a record. The accused person, who desires to proceed with the conciliation, shall pay the amount specified in the Schedule attached hereto in return for the waiver of proceeding with the criminal case. He shall deposit the conciliation amount in the Ministry’s treasury account.
The criminal case shall elapse by conciliation. Conciliation shall not waive the obligation to pay the required fees.
Any person, accused any of the crimes stipulated herein, shall not be allowed to depart the country prior to the payment of the amount specified in the Conciliation Schedule, or the issuance of a final court ruling of being not-guilty, or execution of the penalty issued by the court against him, as the case may be. However, the accused person shall be permitted to leave the country if he submits a guarantee that covers the amount specified in the Conciliation Schedule or the due fine issued by virtue of a court ruling against him upon their maturity date.
As an exception to the preceding Paragraph, the Minister may order the cancellation of the Residency Permit of the Expatriate accused of any of the crimes stipulated herein and order his repatriation from the country if he does not pay the amount set for conciliation, or if the court ruled that he shall be sent to prison or he shall pay a fine & he does not pay such fine.
Without prejudice to the provisions of International Conventions, to which the State is a party, the provisions herein shall not apply to the following categories:
1. Presidents of foreign countries, their family members, and their escorts.
2. Heads and members of foreign diplomatic mission, consulates, or international bodies recognized by the state, as well as their associates and administrators, their families and dependents, and any official delegations.
3. Captains and crew of civil marine vessels or Pilots or crew of aircrafts coming from abroad who hold Passports or Travel Documents from the relevant authorities of their countries after having received a permission to port/land on the State
4. Citizens of the countries, which are members in Gulf Cooperation Council of the Arab Gulf States.
5. Any category that may be excluded by the Minister based on considerations of the principle of reciprocity, international courtesy, the public interest, or humane considerations.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, by virtue of a decree issued thereby, shall regulate the issuance instances of Entry Visas, Residency Permits, and relevant exemption with regards to the categories mentioned in Sub-Clauses (1) and (2) of this Article.
Without prejudice to any legally stipulated responsibilities, the Minister or a representative thereof may, by virtue of a decree issued thereby, include the name of the Recruiter or the Expatriate who has violated the provisions herein on the list of banned individuals prepared by the Competent Authority in this regard. This shall be done until settlement of the violation or execution of the sentences issued against him.
The inclusion on the aforementioned list of banned individuals shall result in discarding any or all requests submitted by the violator in order to benefit from the provisions herein.